Here we go again.
Just when the world (or rather, the US) was finally coming around to the notion that the COVID pandemic might be over, the White House has offered the latest reminder that this is simply not the case. As COVID cases surge in the US, White House COVID response coordinator Ashish Jha said Sunday morning that the Biden Administration will need to authorize another $20 billion+ in COVID spending to pay for the next round of shots needed to stop another brutal winter wave later this year.
Specifically, Jha called on Congress to approve $22.5 billion, a number that will help the federal government replenish its dwindling vaccine supply. If it doesn’t the US “is going to run out of treatments…we’re going to run out of testing.”
Fortunately, at-home tests are available at most pharmacies in the US these days.
If Congress does not approve the White House’s request for an additional $22.5 billion in COVID emergency aid, Dr. Ashish Jha warns that U.S. is “going to run out of treatments, we’re going to run out of testing.” https://t.co/IrJErc7aqc pic.twitter.com/fm75VyjPtP
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 8, 2022This would imply that the FDA will approve a fourth shot for all Americans (not just the eligible elderly) by the time the winter rolls around, as the general population’s immunity begins to wane.
With enough resources to get more people vaccinated and more therapeutics in place, he said, “I do think we can get through this winter without a lot of suffering and death.”
Jha cited the Northeastern US, a region with among the highest vaccination rates, as an example of how vaccines can lower the rate of hospitalizations and deaths.
US COVID deaths in the US are slated to pass 1 million as soon as this week (although as we have explained, it’s unclear how many of these deaths were actually caused by COVID, as opposed to another co-occurring illness. It’s worth noting that the CDC recently revised its figures for COVID deaths among children).